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Bangladesh: “We are girls and we are strong”: Adolescent girls in Bogra will make a change in their community by ending child marriage and Gender Based Violence (GBV)

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Bangladesh: “We are girls and we are strong”: Adolescent girls in Bogra will make a change in their community by ending child marriage and Gender Based Violence (GBV)

25 Jul 2019
Source: 
United Nations Population Fund
‘Since most women have no technical skills or education, they only do household work and are fully dependent on their husband. So if for any reason, the women are abused by husbands and/or mothers-in law they don’t have the capacity to protest. If, on the other hand, women are educated and can earn an income, this type of violence can be reduced’, Rina (not original name), a 13 year old adolescent girl from a Kishori Resource Centre (Adolescent Girls’ Resource Centre), said when she was asked what she thought of the status of women in Bogra.

UNFPA has established 50 Kishori Resource Centres in Bogra and reach approximately 50 girls through each club – providing them with life skills and livelihoods education. The adolescent girls at the Resource Centres are equipped with life skills focusing on gender and sexual and reproductive health, with a special focus on ending child marriage. Equipping adolescent girls with these skills will contribute to empowering them, making them assets in their community and reducing the prevalence of child marriage in Bogra. The Kishori Resource Centres are managed by Gender Promoters, with each Gender Promoter being responsible for two resource centres.

The adolescent girls attending the life skills sessions at the resource centres, now have a deep understanding of the negative consequences of child marriage. They also shared many ideas as to why child marriage and other forms of gender based violence were prevalent in Bogra. The girls shared the following thoughts with the UNFPA team during their recent visit to a Kishori Resource Centre.

‘Due to poverty most women and girls remain uneducated, and because they cannot study they are not able to earn and contribute to the family’.

‘Because child marriage is high in Bogra, women and girls do not have decision making power at home and cannot play a productive role in their family. We want Bogra to be a child marriage free district.’

One member of the adolescent club dreams big, ‘I want to continue my studies and be trained on social development, so that in the future I can work to improve the situation of women and girls in my society.’

Kishori Resource Centres are a part of the Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, where adolescent girls are provided access to skills development – both life skills and livelihood skills through Government Primary Schools, at union level. UNFPA Representative Asa Torkelsson recently visited a Kishori Resource Centre at Chadmuha Government Primary School, Bogra.

*Not real name

 

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